Fasting vs Keto What's Better

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/30/2023

You’ve probably heard of the considerable health benefits of the keto diet. Rapid, nearly effortless weight loss. Increased energy. Sharper mental clarity. And you’d like to experience these benefits for yourself.

a photo of keto foods with block letters reading keto diet among the food

Yet you’ve also come across information about fasting, which indicates these same benefits can be gotten from fasting. Fasting seems like it might be easier. After all, it’s simply a pattern of eating alternating with periods of deliberately not eating.

Sounds easy.

Maybe easier than trying to give up carbs.

a hand lettered sign that reads Intermittent Fasting

But both keto and fasting sound like excellent choices for you as you take charge of your health.

So, which one should you choose?

My answer may surprise you.

In this article, I’ll:

Here we go.


Keto And Intermittent Fasting Explained

When we’re talking about keto, we’re talking about a low-carbohydrate diet. You could, in theory, do keto with no carbs whatsoever, but most people keep between 20-50 grams of carbs per day in their diet. It’s nearly impossible to eat a healthy keto diet without consuming at least a small amount of carbs. For example, leafy green vegetables contain carbohydrates, yet they should be a staple of any truly healthy keto diet.

The keto diet is named for the ketones that are produced in your body when you eat low carb. Ketones are fatty acids that your liver makes when you don't have enough Fat Storing Hormone in your body to turn sugar into energy - exactly what happens on a low-carb diet. You need another source of energy, so your body burns fat instead. Then your liver turns this fat into ketones and pumps them into your bloodstream.

By contrast, when you’re fasting, you bring your carb intake to zero by not eating anything at all. Because you’re not consuming any carbohydrates, your body will be producing even more ketones as compared to keto, when you’re still consuming some carbs.

Makes sense, right?

Now let’s examine the role of Fat Storing Hormone.

Fat Storing Hormone’s Role In This Process

With keto, you’ll be eating a certain number of times per day. And each time you eat a significant amount of calories, you stimulate something called GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide) in the small intestine. The release of GIP, in turn, triggers a spike in Fat Storing Hormone.

Thus, even though on keto you’re eating a scant amount of carbs, you’re still raising your Fat Storing Hormone to a degree.

By comparison, when you’re fasting, there is no GIP being stimulated, leading to a far lower rise in Fat Storing Hormone and subsequently a greater amount of ketones being produced.

In other words, less Fat Storing Hormone means more ketones.

a ketones word cloud


Being In Ketosis Confers Numerous Health Benefits

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that occurs when your body produces ketones and uses them for energy instead of glucose, as I described. When you’re in ketosis, you stimulate certain genes in your body that can protect you from such diseases as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

And when you’re in a deeper state of ketosis as the result of fasting, you turn on the functionality of additional genes that enhance survival:


Triggering these genes helps your brain to become more focused and your heart to become more efficient.


The ketones generated by both the keto diet and fasting will help bring more oxygen to your body, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide, and more antioxidant capability to further protect against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.


When you fast, you enhance what’s called autophagy, a condition in which your body recycles old, damaged cells, tissues, and proteins, turning them into new tissue. It’s as though you put scraps down your garbage disposal, flip the switch, and out comes new food.

When you’re in dietary ketosis as part of the keto diet, you’ll trigger autophagy too - just not nearly as much as when you fast. What happens when you fast and when you eat?

Time for me to answer the question: is fasting better than keto?

So What Will It Be: Keto Or Fasting?

By comparing what I’ve just explained, you can see that fasting brings much more powerful health benefits than ketosis from just the keto diet.

Does this mean you should only fast and forego keto?

Not at all!

I recommend you combine them for a compounded effect. The benefits you receive will be enhanced; doing one will help the other.


Why I Gave You The Answer I Did

Eating keto will make it easier for you to fast, because when you’re eating fewer carbohydrates and more fat, your cravings will diminish. You’ll be hungry less often, making it easier to go without eating for hours at a time as required to successfully fast intermittently.

But if you’re fasting on a higher-carb diet, the amount of carbs will knock you out of your hard-earned ketosis for a long period of time and you’ll probably crave more carbs, setting up a vicious cycle.

On the other hand, when you’re doing keto but not intermittent fasting, you may not see the benefits you expect, especially weight loss.anti-aging, and improved cognitive abilities. This is particularly so if you’re eating 3 keto meals per day plus keto snacks. More frequent eating, even keto, will likely diminish your benefits.

Particularly if you’re doing keto to lose weight, but you have a slow metabolism, you may find that your weight loss plateaus at some point. Whereas combining keto and fasting will allow you to achieve your health goals much faster.

How To Get Started

If you’re new to my blog, and you’re not sure how to go keto, I’m going to recommend my version, called Healthy KetoTM, plus intermittent fasting.

Although there is so much information out there about keto and intermittent fasting that you can easily get overwhelmed and feel frustrated, don’t worry. I’ve created several videos to get you started on your successful keto and intermittent fasting journey.

You can check out these videos at the links below:

Overview of Healthy Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting…

I’m passionate about the potential for you to transform your health and live a vibrant, enjoyable life. There’s no need to fear a chronic disease when you take charge of your health. You’ll feel confident that you have the information you need to succeed.

I wish you all the success you desire.

happy healthy gay couple with their son

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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